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Data center in Ashburn would be among world’s largest

California-based Equinix is looking to build a 1.16 million square-foot facility in Ashburn, which would make it the largest in the county, and one of the largest in the world. Courtesy/Equinix
A California technology company has filed plans to build one of the world’s largest data centers in Ashburn’s Data Center Alley.

Equinix, a Redwood City company with facilities in 15 countries, has applied to place a 1.1 million-square-foot data center at the intersection of Loudoun County Parkway and the W&OD Trail.

The plan calls for the construction of six buildings, and would increase to more than 5 million the number of square feet for data centers in the county.

“Equinix is one of the world's best data center operators, and one of the biggest operators in Loudoun. Their vision of growth in Loudoun is significant, and is further evidence of the importance of Data Center Alley as a technology location,” said Buddy Rizer, director of economic development. for the county.

The facility is expected to create about 70 jobs, according to a Fast Track Application which was filed with the Department of Economic Development.

The Equinix data center would be the third largest in the world, according to metrics compiled by Forbes magazine.

The largest is the Range International Hub in Langfang, China with 6.3 million square feet.

The Switch SuperNAP data campus in southern Nevada is the second largest with 2.2 million square feet. It is situated to avoid natural disasters.

Equinix currently operates 10 data centers in the Northern Virginia area, including eight in Ashburn, and touts a direct connection to Amazon Web Services on its website.

It serves more than 650 businesses from its Northern Virginia locations. The company’s “colocation” facilities centers allow companies to share resources like power and IT infrastructure.

Plans are in place create 8 million square feet of data centers in Data Center Alley by year’s end. Data Center Alley is believed to be the fourth largest center for data in the world.

About 70 percent of the world’s Internet traffic passes through Loudoun County.


Why would half of the employees use Metro?  Even if they live to the east, why do you assume Metro is convenient? 

And like I said in my previous post, locating to Loudoun is very limiting long term because your hiring pool goes down.  People commute to Arlington or DC from Baltimore, Fredericksburg, and southern MD.  People in Manassas use VRE to get there.  Move to Loudoun and you can cross out a lot of those people because they aren’t going to commute to Ashburn. 

Hey, I’d love a 15 minute commute, but I also know why Booz Allen isn’t moving its HQ to Leesburg.

Everett— Data Centers pump millions into the public treasury at little expense. You don’t need to build additional roads, schools, police, fire, etc to support the ancillary effects of data centers. Whereas a business which employs hundreds/thousands of workers creates a massive strain on the county to provide all those things I’ve listed. As a result, those high employee centric businesses create a negative impact on the county for 20-30yrs until the bonds are paid off.

I just think we should do a better job of attracting employers that hire lots of employees at high paying wages.

To the poster that does not want 3,000 extra cars on the road, build mid or high rises along the proposed metro stations in Ashburn. How about that for a start?  Safe to say half will at least use Metro. It will allow flexibility to those coming from MD and DC b/c they can take metro. It will also increase my property values.

Seems like a waste of space for 70 jobs. I really feel we are way behind in attracting top employers like FFX and Montgomery County. We just get stuck with clogged roads and overcrowded schools…

Data Center, huh.  The nerds have won.

I don’t know if it is “terrible land use”.  It puts land on the tax rolls, creates some jobs, and is relatively low impact on the surrounding area considering traffic.

I’m not sure what companies would get out of coming to Loudoun.  If your customer is the federal government, you want to be inside the beltway.  You want to be centrally located for flexibility in hiring employees that may live in MD, DC, or in VA south off I-95.

everett. before you did all those math equations you should have read the article.  It says 70 employees once the center is built out.

why would you want 3000 more people on the road in loudoun? 

Just about all those metrics are incorrect.  It’s not 1.1 million SF all in one data center, it’s multiple data centers.  Also, none of those data centers will be nearly as big as Digital’s or DuPont’s buildings.

Sounds good to me!  Over a million sq feet and only 70 more people on the road.  Better than 500 new houses and over crowded schools and roads.

I am not an IT person by any means so maybe someone can answer this. How many people would a data center of this size employ? I have heard that other data centers (smaller ones) employ less than 50 people. The building I work in has 15 floors of 100,000 sq feet per floor, and most floors have at least 275 people. So is this place going to employ 3,025 people (275 people per 100,000 sq feet multiply by 11) ?

I highly doubt it. I think this is a terrible land use and why can’t Loudoun attract real employers like FFX and Montgomery County ???

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